FONA International Announces New Hires, Achievements and Promotion

May 20, 2010


May 20, 2010

FONA International Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of a full line of quality flavors for the food and beverage industries, is pleased to announce the hiring of new team members, and two promotions.

New Hires

Sandra Balco, Business Unit Director — Beverage Sandra comes to FONA with 25 years of experience in the food ingredients and flavor business. She will lead our Beverage business unit, working closely with dry and liquid beverage team members to deliver our customers the very best in flavor creation and application development. Sandra holds a M.B.A from DePaul University and a M.S. in food science from the University of Illinois. 

John Martin, Director of Regulatory Affairs John comes to FONA with more than 20 years experience in the flavor industry and regulatory. With John’s extensive regulatory background, he will play an active role in Tax and Trade Bureau formulations and filings. John will also act as an expert advisor in international/export tariff issues, neutraceutical/pharmaceutical flavors acceptability research and will be FONA’s primary contact to industry associations including FEMA. John is a member of the American Chemical Society, FEMA, International Association of Color Manufacturers and IFT. John has a B.S. in chemistry from East Stroudsburg University.

Amy Lauer, Market Manager — Performance Nutrition Amy comes to FONA with many years of experience as Global and B2B Marketing Manager with an international food packaging company. Amy leads FONA’s strategic marketing, planning and implementation for market projects to support our performance nutrition customers. She holds a B.S. in food and nutrition science from the University of Illinois, three Culinary Certificates from Kendall College, Chicago, IL, and a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University, Schaumburg, IL. She is also an active member of IFT and is Vice President, Food Executive Women (FEW) of Chicago.

Sharon Van Horn, Senior Applications Technologist — Grain Sharon comes to FONA with product development experience that covers a broad spectrum of market products from confections to main meals and more. At FONA, Sharon will work with a variety of grain applications and work with our customers to meet their flavor needs. Sharon holds a B.S. in agriculture and is currently working on a M.S. in food science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Julie Lubben, Customer Service Representative Julie has more than 12 years of customer service experience, eight of which were spent in the food industry. Her most recent role focused on maintaining customer relations by managing customer orders, requirements and inventory levels. At FONA, Julie works with our customers to deliver the highest quality of service with a strong commitment to excellence.

Jody Vavaroutsos, Customer Service Representative Jody brings more than six years of customer service experience, in addition to knowledge gained from time in purchasing. Jody supports FONA’s customers, working to deliver complete satisfaction while helping them meet their flavor needs. She has an A.A.S. in marketing from Illinois Valley Community College.

Harmony Barry, Sales Support Associate — Beverage Harmony has supported FONA sales for the past year, and will now work with the Beverage business unit group with entry of new projects, developing quotes, and other activities supporting our Sales Account Executives and Solutions Managers. Harmony holds a B.A. from Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois.


Jacque Finner, Senior Lab Technician — Grain Jacque joined FONA two years ago as a lab technician working with grain flavors. In this new position Jacque is in charge of compounding support for our Grain business unit. She is also responsible for testing new flavors, various plan supervisions, and lab and data maintenance. Jacque has a B.S. in biological sciences from Northern Illinois University.

Conor Delaney, Senior Lab Technician —Confections Conor has supported the Confections business unit for three years as a Flavor Technician. In his new position, Conor will collaborate with Technology & Innovation to pursue Confection technology goals, supervise initial orders, continue stewardship of training and maintenance of the homogenizer and Ross mixers. Conor will also host vendor visits for flavor raw material sourcing in the labs. Conor has a B.S. in biology from St. Xavier University in Chicago. 

About FONA International, Inc. Founded in 1987, FONA International creates and manufactures flavors for many of the largest food, beverage, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical companies in the world. It offers flavor solutions for the confection, grain, beverage, performance nutrition, OTC and emerging markets from its state-of-the-art, 33-acre campus in Geneva, IL. FONA International has established a reputation as the forward-thinking, independent solution provider in the very competitive flavor industry.